The Phoenix Park is an urban park in Dublin, Ireland, lying 2 – 4 km west of the city centre, north of the River Liffey. Its 11 km border wall encloses 707 hectares (1,750 acres); it is among the biggest enclosed leisure spaces within any European capital city.
It consists of big areas of grassland and tree-lined opportunities, and since the 17th century has actually been home to a herd of wild fallow deer. The English name comes from the Irish fionn uisce significance “clear water”. The Irish Government is lobbying UNESCO to have the park designated as a world heritage site.
After the Normans dominated Dublin and its hinterland in the 12th century, Hugh Tyrrel, 1st Baron of Castleknock, gave a large location of land, including what now consists of the Phoenix Park, to the Knights Hospitaller. They established an abbey at Kilmainham on the site now occupied by Royal Healthcare facility Kilmainham.
The knights lost their lands in 1537 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII of England. Eighty years later the lands reverted to the ownership of the King’s representatives in Ireland. On the repair of Charles II of England, his Viceroy in Dublin, the Duke of Ormond, established a royal hunting park on the land in 1662. It consisted of pheasants and wild deer, making it needed to confine the entire area with a wall.
The park originally consisted of the demesne of Kilmainham Priory south of the River Liffey. When the structure of the Royal Healthcare facility at Kilmainham commenced in 1680 for using veterans of the Royal Irish Army, the park was lowered to its present size, all of which is now north of the river. It was opened to the people of Dublin by the Earl of Chesterfield in 1745.
In the 19th century the stretch of the Park had actually become neglected. With management being taken over by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, the renowned English Landscape architect, Decimus Burton, was retained to design a general plan for the general public areas of the park.
The execution of the strategy which included brand-new courses, gate-lodges, levelling and tree planting and transferring the Phoenix Column, took nearly twenty years to complete. See particularly the architecturally substantial, “Chapelized” Gate Lodge.
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